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Forget-Me-Not: How to Plant and Grow Forget-Me-Not Flowers | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Forget-Me-Nots

Caption

Forget-me-not flowers (Myosotis scorpioides)

Photo Credit
Luka Hercigonja/Shutterstock
Botanical Name
Myosotis scorpioides
Plant Type
Sun Exposure
Soil pH
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Hardiness Zone
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How to Plant and Grow Forget-Me-Not Flowers

The Editors
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The true blue forget-me-not plant displays clouds of tiny sky-blue flowers with yellow centers, perched on the tip of hairy stems which grow from 4 inches to a foot. This perennial flower self-seeds and blooms for months. Here’s how to grow forget-me-not flowers in your garden!

About Forget-Me-Nots

The genus name, Myosotis, is derived from two Greek words, mys, meaning ‘mouse’, and ous, meaning ‘ear’ to refer to the shape of the flower petal, which has a rounded shape with a rounded notch in the center.

This perennial plant’s natural habit is near marshes, bogs, river banks, woodlands, and wet places so they prefer wet to moist conditions in full to partial sun. They can also tolerate cold conditions.

In the yard and garden, these charming light blue blossoms looks best in large masses as ground cover or as a carpet of flowers in partial-shade spots. They’ll also grow in flower beds and in containers. Both butterflies and bees are attracted to these blue and yellow beauties which may bloom from May all the way through October.

Note: Please note that forget-me-nots are invasive in some areas. Otherwise, plants will spread by creeping rhizomes but are not overly aggressive. Pinch young plants to promote bushiness. 

Planting

How to Plant Forget-Me-Nots

These flowers are very easy to grow. They have two main requirements:

  1. Grow in a location with partial shade.
  2. Moisten the soil before sowing the seeds.

In colder regions, sow seeds outdoors close to the last frost date in spring. You can start seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date.

In warmer regions, sow seeds in the fall for spring blooms.

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Care

How to Grow Forget-Me-Nots

  • After seedlings appear, add mulch around the plants
  • Water regularly to keep the soil moist.
  • Apply a granular slow-release fertilizer to the plants in early spring.
  • Deadhead spent flowers for continued bloom through the summer.
  • If you want the forget-me-nots to reseed, leave the flowers on the plant.
     
Wit and Wisdom
  • In the language of flowers forget-me-not’s meaning is “true love memories.”
  • Forget-me-not seed packets are popular handouts and giveaways for funeral services and remembrances.
  • Its name comes from a tale about a 15th-century German knight. While picking these blossoms for his beloved, he fell into a river and drowned, but not before tossing his ladylove the bouquet and crying, “Vergiss mich nicht!” (“Forget me not”).
  • Plants of the genus are commonly confused with Chatham Islands’ Forget-me-Nots which belong to the related genus Myosotidium

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